Arizona February 22, 2018
Here Are 11 Things About Arizona That Visitors Always Find Astounding
One of the things I love most about Arizona is that it is a land of extremes. For example, our weather is generally predictable but can get pretty wild and the landscape is beautiful but could easily kill you. These kinds of facts always seem to take visitors to our state by surprise and today we’re taking a look at a few things that might be the most surprising for people who have never stepped foot in Arizona.
1. Arizona’s landscape is much more diverse than you might think.
Sure, a good amount of the landscape is desert but our state is also quite mountainous and that translates to a surprising amount of forested areas.
2. It does indeed snow here!
In some areas, it snows enough that snowplows and salt are needed for the roads.
3. The annual monsoons can look like the apocalypse but don’t worry, it’s normal.
Massive dust storms, lightning, microbursts, and a sudden gush of rain. That’s just another summer storm here.
4. The sun is much more intense than you might expect!
In the summer, the combination of heat and sunlight can be deadly but it’s even quite intense in winter as well. You’ll definitely be able to slowly tan in January out here.
5. Not all Mexican restaurants are tasty and "authentic."
Despite our proximity to the border, you’ll find that not all of our Mexican restaurants are good. Some serve bland meals yet still manage to stay in business for years. But those are tasty are definitely worth the effort of finding!
6. Despite the appearance of wide, open land, you cannot aimlessly wander through it all.
Aside from the risk of getting lost, quite a bit of the land is privately owned and one-quarter of it is reservation land, where permits are often needed to visit.
7. Hiking in the middle of summer isn’t always a good idea.
This one actually depends on geography. If you’re planning a summer day hike in Flagstaff, Pinetop, or the Catalinas, then go for it! The temperatures will be lovely. But a summer day hike in Phoenix isn’t such a great idea, especially if you’re visiting Arizona for the first time.
8. Also not a good idea: driving through washes and flash flood areas during or after a storm.
Sure, that stream of water doesn’t look terribly deep but it doesn’t take much for your car to be swept away in the waters. In fact, Arizona has a
"stupid motorist law"
on the books in an attempt to hold people accountable for driving through these dangerous areas.
9. You’ll need to drink a lot more water than you think!
Speaking of hiking and other outdoorsy activities, you’ll want to make sure to bring significantly more water than you think you may need. You may also find having drinks with electrolytes to be helpful as well since the body loses some essential minerals through excessive sweating.
10. Much of Arizona is rural but our urban areas are HUGE and lively.
Phoenix is the fifth most populous city in the nation and the sprawling metropolitan area is massive. In fact, on a good day without traffic it may take you 1.5 hours to drive from one end to the other!
11. Arizona is significantly more beautiful than pictures can ever show.
You’ll never know how vast and striking places like the Grand Canyon are unless you see it in person.
What are some other things that might be surprising for first-time visitors to Arizona? We would love to hear your thoughts!